Are you confused between booty bands and ankle weights? The mini loop resistance bands, which are also famous as booty bands/hip bands, behave similarly to the ankle weights.
I am quite sure that deciding between booty bands and ankle weights is going to be a tough task for most of the readers.
Here, I am going to provide an on-field battle between the booty bands and ankle weights based on some practical as well as scientific grounds.
This resource shall also guide you on some exercises if performed with ankle weights or hip bands that may cost an injury. Make a decisive opinion before buying/using any one of them.
So how booty bands differ from ankle weights? Ankle weights when wrapped around the ankles are useful in lower body exercises similar to the booty bands. However, the ankle weights are not able to provide progressive resistance for muscle gain. Further, ankle weights result in undue pressure over ankle joint and promote imbalance. The hip bands can provide much higher cost-effective resistance for training the larger muscle groups of legs and butts.
I have summarised the main differences between the mini loop resistance bands (booty bands) and ankle weights. The answer will not be complete if you do not understand the underlying reasons behind the conclusion I made in the above paragraph.
Here is the index of what you are going to learn throughout this session –
Grounds for comparison ( Check the winners)
|2.||Nature of resistance|
|5.||Potential for muscle gain|
|6.||Convenience of usage|
|9.||Adaptation to exercises|
|11.||Risk for Injury|
|12.||Scope for athletic activities|
Jump anywhere you want if you are just short of the time.
❝ Hi, I am Ravi, your companion and a passionate fitness athlete, cyclist, runner, gym enthusiast who just loves the concept of resistance bands for their extreme flexibility. I have been using resistance bands as one of my primary fitness equipment for the last many years ❞
So let us begin-
1. Source of resistance in booty bands vs. ankle weights –
Everybody who is coming here must be aware of the source of resistance in the case of bands vs. ankle weights. However, for people who are unaware of the same, hip bands provide resistance by stretching the elastic rubber. Whereas, ankle weights provides resistance by virtue of gravity.
➔ The source of resistance itself creates a hell lot of difference between the circle mini bands and ankle weights. We shall be discussing such differences in-depth in the following paragraphs.
2. Nature of resistance of ankle weights vs booty bands-
Well, the resistance is resistance, after all! What actually the nature of resistance means here?
In the case of ankle weights, the resistance remains fixed at all angles during exercises. Whereas in the case of resistance bands, their resistance keeps varying from zero to a maximum value depending upon the stretching of the bands.
In short, resistance bands such as booty bands provide variable resistance in comparison to ankle weights. Many of you guys must be thinking that if the resistance is not fixed, then how we are going to monitor progress?
➔ When there are some drawbacks, so are the benefits. The variable resistance in case of booty bands has proven benefits for exercises involving ascending strength curve such as push-ups, chest fly, chest press, squat, lateral shoulder raise, etc.
? Additional resource –
To know more about detailed benefits about the variable resistance of resistance bands, check this article- Benefits Of Band-Assisted Push-Ups vs Ordinary Push-ups | Bench Press (where I have explained, how variable resistance bands helps you in improving form and preventing injuries by taking an example of a push-up exercise in particular)
3. Affordability of booty bands in comparison to the ankle weights-
The price of resistance bands starts from as low as few dollars and may go above hundreds of dollars depending upon the type of resistance bands and their size.
When we are talking about the mini loop bands or a circle band, the costing starts from low to the medium level depending upon the size and resistance of the booty bands. They usually come in a kit of 3 to 4 different resistance level booty bands.
In contrast, the ankle weights are normally higher in price as compared to the resistance bands of similar resistance levels depending upon the quality and the amount of resistance offered.
? WINNER – Booty bands
➔ The maximum resistance offered by the ankle weights is up to 12 pounds for each ankle. They usually come in a pair of two ankle weights. Whereas booty bands can provide resistance from 10 pounds and may go up to 80 pounds.
So when we compare the price of hip bands and ankle weights in relevance to the resistance offered by them, mini loop bands are the unquestionable winner.
4. Portability of booty bands vs. ankle weights-
As I mentioned earlier, the source of resistance for resistance bands and ankle weights results in several differences between the two. The portability is one such difference.
The resistance offered by the bands is not dependent upon gravity. That means, we cannot measure the resistance of the resistance band on a weighing scale. Whereas, for ankle weights, more massive, they are, higher resistance they provide.
? WINNER- Booty bands.
➔ The booty bands, which provide resistance as high as 40 pounds. They weigh only a few hundred grams, whereas the ankle weights, which provide resistance of 10 pounds, shall also weigh 10 pounds. A huge difference!
Carrying ankle weights while touring cities/countries on vacations or during official assignments, is not at all practical. The resistance bands, especially the flat, resistance bands, such as power loop bands and mini loop bands, are easier to fold and pack within the suitcase.
5) Potential for muscle gain with booty bands vs. ankle weights-
It shall be absurd if we suppose that by using the ankle weights having limited resistance, we can build a masculine body shape.
Further, due to several risks associated with the positioning of weights around the ankle, it is generally not recommended to attach a weight of more than 5 pounds for each ankle. Such restrictions really undermine the potential of muscle gain with ankle weights.
The resistance bands, in comparison, provide a vast range of resistance, which may go as high as 250 pounds for pull up assist bands. Even, hip bands can provide resistance up to 80 pounds. Further, there are no such upper caps on the safe resistance limits for Booty bands.
? WINNER- Booty bands
Muscles need resistance to grow them, and booty bands are a clear option to look out for.
6) Convenience of usage-
When it comes to the convenience/ease of usage, the ankle weights takes a big lead in comparison to the booty resistance bands. That is the reason many people get attracted to the ankle weights.
Wearing a neoprene strap around the ankle with some weight attached to it and doing physical activities like running, walking, swimming, and other exercises without any adjustments are the icing on the cake.
The booty bands need frequent changes due to rolling from their position and also as per the requirement of different exercises. They are not comfortable if you decide to go for a walk or jogging with a pair of mini loop resistance bands wrapped around the thighs.
? WINNER-Ankle weights
Just wrap the ankle weights around the ankle and forget them while doing exercises. Is n’t it awesome!
? Additional Resource-
If you own a hip/booty band and you are irritated with the frequent adjustments to the bands while doing leg exercises, do check this article –Tips to prevent resistance bands from rolling up – Fully Tested.
7) Versatility for booty bands vs ankle weights-
The ankle weights are needed to be wrapped around the ankles. Some of the modern ankle weights types may also be wrapped around the wrist. Overall, they work great for kickbacks, leg raise, fire hydrants, single-leg glute bridges, plank with toe touches, etc.
In short, the ankle weights work great for lower body exercises of calf, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus. They even work for runners, walkers, joggers, and swimmers in their outdoor training. However, they simply do not qualify for upper body exercises.
The resistance bands are well-known for their commendable job in providing numerous variations of the same exercises in multiple planes of movements.
When we analyze booty bands, in particular, they are focussed on lower body exercises, just like ankle weights for squat jumps, crab walk, lunges, leg raises, glute bridges. As said earlier, they are not designed to adapt to outdoor cardio activities like swimming, walking, running, cycling, etc.
? WINNER- Ankle weights
The ankle weights are just a few additional weights that are attached with a body part and require no adjustments whatsoever. This ultra adaption to the body dynamics makes them a favorite accessory for climbers, marathoners and sprinters to make each step a bit more calorie-dense.
8) Progressive overload –
Progressive overload is one of the foremost requirements of people who have been exercising for a while. The progressive overload refers to the ability of the fitness equipment to provide the resistance which keeps challenging muscles as our body starts adapting to the current resistance levels.
Most of the ankle weights in the market offer a constant resistance. However, there are some ankle weights which can provide a variable resistance from 1 to 12 pounds by making a provision in the ankle strap to insert additional iron pieces to increase the weight.
However, the maximum resistance provided by the ankle weights is only limited up to 12 pounds at maximum. Such resistance may be sufficient for a beginner but halts the progress once your body gets adapted to the maximum resistance of ankle weights.
In contrast, the booty bands come in several sizes to meet the demands of leg muscles at different stages of the training. Further, the progressive resistance can also be attained from the existing booty band by stretching them a little further than you would have been doing earlier.
? WINNER-Booty bands.
These bands are the most famous fitness accessory used by women to build a round booty with progression to harder bands over time.
9) Adaptation to the exercises-
The adaptation of any fitness equipment to the activities refers to how the material gets immersed in the routine that you forget about their presence altogether.
The ankle weights wrapped around the ankles become a part of the body similar to a wristwatch or a headband. We can walk, do jogging, cycling, and even do household works to add resistance to every step we take.
Such an adaption is literally not possible with hip bands. They tend to roll up or down from their position while doing exercises. However, there are some improvised designs of resistance bands made to overcome this limitation of booty bands.
➔ The jump training bands and thigh trainers at Unique Addict Store are examples of such bands, which become a part of the sports activities to provide dynamic resistance to athletic movements in real-time, just like ankle weights.
? WINNER-Ankle weights
The jump training resistance bands, boxing assist workout bands, and thigh training bands come very close to the adaptation abilities of the ankle weights. However, the kind of freedom ankle weights provides to the legs is unmatchable.
10) Durability of booty bands vs ankle weights-
The resistance bands are made from natural rubber, which is bound to decay with time, whether you leave it stored or use them actively in your daily workouts.
The average shelflife of resistance bands including mini loop bands, varies from six months up to 2 years depending upon the maintenance and usage of the bands.
? Additional Resource-
Here is an awesome article where I have suggested some of the best ways to increase the shelf life of resistance bands – How Long Do Resistance Bands Last – Practical Tips For Longevity.
The ankle weights are preliminary made from a solid piece of iron/steel, which are packed in the slots of the neoprene strap. The strap is first fastened around the ankles using a velcro. However, the Velcro and strap are vulnerable to damage due to the impact of the exercises with time.
If the quality of ankle weights is up to the mark, they can easily supersede the booty bands in terms of the durability factor.
? WINNER-Ankle weights
However, considering the high cost of ankle weights in comparison to the hip bands and inability to provide progressive resistance makes them a costly affair in the long-term.
11) The risk for Injury –
The booty bands as stated earlier provides variable resistance, which means they don’t load the muscles as soon as you start stretching the bands. The only risks associated with resistance bands are the risk of snapping midway during exercises and slipping.
However, when we are discussing only booty bands, that risks are also reduced to a negligible amount as it is not expected for the booty bands to break and hit your face.
? Additional Resource –
To know more about the safety of resistance bands and practical tips to prevent abrupt snapping, do visit this great article – Are Resistance Bands Safe – Best Practical Tips To Avoid Injury.
➔ In contrast, the ankle weights strain the ankle and foot joint when they are already bearing the weight of the whole body.
Further, tying ankle weights around the legs alter the range of motion of legs during walking, jogging, and running. That means, subconsciously, we start taking smaller steps without fully extending and flexing the leg muscles to withstand the impact of the extra weights. In short, our gait (style of walking) gets changed.
? WINNER – Booty Bands
The resistance bands such as booty bands are actually joint-friendly. The therapists and coaches have used the resistance bands in their recovery programs for decades.
12. Scope for athletic activities –
As already explained in previous paragraphs, the main points where ankle weights lead in comparison to the hip workout bands are not worth a try. The ankle weights put extra strain on connective tissues and tendon (which connects the muscles to the bones) due to consistent loading.
➔ Hamstring muscles, which play a crucial role in bringing legs back to the ground during running, are assisted by the ankle weights due to the downward force exerted by them.
Running and jogging are an inherent part of several sports like football, hockey, baseball, basketball, etc. As such, redundant movement of legs during running and jogging creates a lot of imbalance among the inner, outer thigh muscles in comparison to the quadriceps (in front of the thigh) and hamstrings (in the back of the leg).
The ankle weights only contribute to the imbalances.
That doesn’t mean that I am suggesting to discard the ankle weights altogether. It is recommended to use them only occasionally for lower body exercises like squat walks, leg raises, fire hydrants, clamshells, etc. However, wearing ankle weights in outdoor aerobic activities is not recommended.
? WINNER – Booty Bands
These bands provide support to the athletes by providing the opportunity to train leg muscles in all the planes of motion from different angles, unlike ankle weights, which acts in the vertical plane only.
13. Safety while using booty bands vs. ankle weights –
The term ‘Safety’ here is not associated with muscles and joints injuries. Here I am talking about the general safety of ourselves, which may come in danger due to the malfunctioning of the fitness equipment.
The wearable leg weights and wrist weights are not prone to injure you physically when its velcro fails to stick or strap starts giving away. We get ample time to repair or discard ankle weights before using them in the next workouts.
Whereas, the booty bands may snap all of a sudden without any indications altogether. However, these bands don’t pose any risk for injury due to their flat and wide design in addition to their reach (which is only up to the waist).
? WINNER – Tie between hip bands and ankle weights
Both ankle weights and mini loop bands are equally safe to use mainly since they both are meant only for lower body exercises, which don’t put your teeth, eyes, and other sensitive organs at stake.
14. Final opinion-
The ankle weights and flat booty bands are synonymous with lower body workouts. It is so easy to exercise with the ankle weights that we often overlook the other side of the coin. There are always two choices for following any fitness program. Either learn by yourself or invest in a fitness coach to guide you through the process.
The ankle weights though fascinating, have several risks associated with them, which suggests avoiding them in outdoor high-impact cardio activities. As a result, the applications of ankle weights are minimal. You cannot expect bulging leg muscles by the constant use of the resistance of only up to 12 pounds provided by the ankle weights.
The booty bands offer a cheaper alternative to ankle weights with comparatively much higher resistance and the range of resistance, which is enough for toning and strengthening of leg muscles for tangible results.
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